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Happy Anniversary, Lisa!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lisa celebrated an anniversary this week.  It came and went so quietly that we almost missed it.  It represents such determination and fortitude that I don’t want it to go unnoticed.  So today I ask you to celebrate with me that Lisa has been able to live in supported independence in an apartment for the last  . . .

 

 . . . fourteen years.

 

I don’t remember when Lisa first voiced her dream.  I do remember wondering if it would be possible.  If she couldn’t go to elementary and high school without extra help, how could manage living on her own?

When Lisa survived life-threatening heart surgery in 2000, we thought the dream had died.  Though surgery saved her life, she never recovered her skip, her heavy-footed run, or her full energy. 

 

Even living with more limitations, she still she wanted a a home of her own, a place to do her own thing, a chance to prove herself.

 

No one thought she could do it.  Some thought we were parents who couldn’t face reality. We believed Lisa deserved a chance to try.  So we did all the paper work, set a date, enjoyed the apartment shower that work associates gave her, moved the few pieces of furniture and home supplies she had collected, and prayed for the best.

 

I will never forget that Easter afternoon in 2001. 

 

“Mom, do you think this is going to work?” Lisa’s lower lip trembled with thought of failure.

 

“I don’t know; but there’s no reason we can’t try!”  I think I was trying to convince myself as much as her.

 

We prayed together.  Hugged each other.  Rehearsed what to do if . . .  And I took one of the longest walks to the car I ever took.  Cried all the way home.  Didn’t sleep much that night, fully expecting a call in the middle of the night.  

 

But Lisa didn't call until tthe next morning with an excitement in her voice I hadn’t heard for more than a year.

 

 Lisa's first apartment in Centralia, Washington

 

 

That’s why today I celebrate an important anniversary.

 

     I celebrate Lisa’s desire for independence with firework explosions in my heart. 

 

     I celebrate her passion to fashion her own world her own way.

 

     I celebrate her courage to continue this life through threat of vision loss.

 

     I celebrate her indomitable spirit that continues to find a way to surface when physical obstacles

     threatened to steal her dream.

 

     I  celebrate the joy Lisa takes in waking up in her own place and the gratitude to God she records\

     her journal.

 

Lisa, you are not just a dream-chaser; you are a dream-catcher.

Happy 14 year anniversary!

Home Sweet Home now in Beaverton, Oregon

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